tirsdag, desember 06, 2011

A retrospect on my exchange year

Outside of "my" house one of the very few days with rainy weatherMe standing on the suburban street outside of my host family's house with grey clouds and palm trees in the background
It's almost ten years ago that I started to plan my high school exchange year. It was winter, I wanted to get away and learn English. Other than that, I did not know what to expext.
I started to think what I learned that year which is still with me.

- the value of a good meal with good friends or family at a restaurant or diner or yogurt place.
- to watch movies and TV series (Finding Nemo, Lord of the Rings, Minority Report, The Princess Bride and Signs come to mind).
- to go to Sunday church service every Sunday
- a lot about Mormonism and some about the Catholic church
- my love of British literature and a fascination of physics
- to dare to speak English
- scrapbooking
- how easy it can be to have a party: ask everyone to bring a dish to a potluck and use plastic or disposable plates and utensils
- a love of Rich Mullin's music
- the blue and green monsters that my little sister watched almost every day: the Grinch, Monsters Inc, Lilo and Stich and Shrek.
- an understanding that 9/11 made an inpact on American people comparable to what Norwegians felt about WW2 (and now after 22nd of July)
- the smell of Orange blossoms
- the routines my host family had to strengthen their family: family night once a week, a weekly date of my host parents, a short prayer with the whole family both before school and at bedtime...
- the short distance between poor and very rich
- a more nuanced view of the USA

If you are curious about exchanges I recommend AFS, both for going abroad and for hosting.